5 things to know for May 23: Weather, Washington, Botswana, Philippines & Canada, AI

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The human-like robot, Digit, is integrated with Ford's autonomous vehicles and can walk up stairs to deliver your packages right to your front door all by itself.

Posted: May 31, 2019 11:01 AM
Updated: May 31, 2019 11:01 AM

New York to London in 90 minutes or less? An Atlanta-based aerospace company is trying to develop a plane that will make that possible.

Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Weather

A tornado overnight slammed Jefferson City, Missouri, causing widespread damage and wreaking havoc in the state's capital city. It's one of 171 tornadoes reported since Friday across the central US. The twister in Jefferson City sent debris 13,000 feet into the air and even blew a house underneath a tractor-trailer. No deaths have been reported so far, but that's sadly not the case in Golden City, Missouri, where three people were killed when a tornado rolled through earlier in the day. The deadly spring storm system has also brought flooding to Oklahoma and severe weather to Iowa. Tornadoes could pose threats today from Lubbock, Texas, to Kansas City and from Columbus, Ohio, to Philadelphia, and serious flooding along the already-swollen Mississippi River is expected in the central US as more rain falls in coming days.

2. Washington

Well, so much for Infrastructure Week. A meeting at the White House about fixing crumbling US bridges, roads and pipes -- the one issue Democrats and the President seemed to be on the same page on -- was pretty much blown up minutes after it started. And, of course, there's finger-pointing about who is at fault. Trump blames House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had earlier said the President "is engaged in a cover-up." Pelosi blames Trump, who after cutting short the infrastructure meeting held a hastily-called news conference in the Rose Garden and declared nothing would get done in Washington until Dems drop all their investigations. CNN's Stephen Collinson said Trump's walkout marks a point of no return.

3. Botswana

Botswana has dropped its ban on elephant hunting. The southern African nation is home to 130,000 elephants. That's about a third of all elephants on the continent. The ban was put in place five years ago to deter poaching, but local residents complained that elephants have been damaging crops, killing livestock and destroying water supplies. Conservationists have warned that the African elephant could become extinct if it's not protected. Meanwhile, in the neighboring country of Zimbabwe, a ban on hunting buffaloes with bows and arrows has been lifted in a bid to boost tourism and revenue.

4. Canada and the Philippines 

Looks like the trash tiff between the Philippines and Canada is over. The Canadians agreed to take back 2,450 tons of trash that were shipped to the Philippines in 2013 and 2014. The containers were marked as recyclable plastics, but they really contained other kinds of waste, like newspapers and diapers. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte was so upset about it, he recalled his country's ambassador to Canada. Now, Canada says it will haul the garbage back across the Pacific and pay the full cost of the operation.

5. Artificial intelligence assistants

Do AI assistants like Alexa and Siri perpetuate gender stereotypes? The United Nations thinks so. The assistants enable the notion that "women are obliging, docile and eager-to-please helpers, available at the touch of a button or with a blunt voice command," says a report by UNESCO, the UN's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The report also notes that the assistants -- which are all voiced by women as a default setting -- give passive and polite responses when users make sexually abusive remarks. UNESCO says this problem can be fixed by not making digital assistant voices female by default and programming them to discourage abusive or sexist language.

TODAY'S NUMBERS

$300,000

That's how much attorney Michael Avenatti is accused of stealing from ex-client Stormy Daniels. A federal grand jury in New York indicted the celebrity lawyer for that and for allegedly trying to extort more than $20 million from Nike. Avenatti told CNN he will be "fully exonerated."

5.2

The percentage of new cancer cases in the US in 2015 that were linked to a poor diet, a new study says

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Mission to Mars

You may never make it to Mars, but your name -- etched on NASA's latest rover -- just might.

The robots are coming

Thanks to Ford, robots can now deliver packages straight to your front door.

Mission accomplished

Meet the nurse who graduated from NYU years after he worked there as a janitor.

Fender bender

You can stay in a big hotel, or you can stay in a big hotel shaped exactly like a guitar.

'If you don't know, now you know ...'

A Brooklyn street will be renamed for the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. on what would have been his 47th birthday.

HAPPENING LATER

Getting out

John Walker Lindh, known as the "American Taliban," is set to be released today from a federal prison in Indiana. He was the first US-born detainee in the war on terror and has served 17 years of a 20-year sentence.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"I am getting fed up ..."

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, perhaps speaking for all of us, as he describes his feelings about Brexit delays

AND FINALLY

Venomous vittles

Cooking with poison? The residents of a remote island in Japan have been doing that for years. (Click to view.)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33068

Reported Deaths: 2068
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9524558
Lake3494175
Cass15897
Allen141966
St. Joseph122134
Hendricks114268
Hamilton113292
Elkhart110128
Johnson1092106
Madison58459
Porter50522
Bartholomew49034
Clark47941
LaPorte42022
Tippecanoe3823
Howard37824
Delaware37636
Jackson3721
Shelby36822
Hancock32727
Floyd31739
Boone30535
Morgan27724
Vanderburgh2592
Montgomery23417
White2308
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Noble20421
Grant19721
Dubois1903
Harrison18921
Henry16910
Greene16824
Monroe16512
Warrick16528
Dearborn16521
Vigo1538
Lawrence15223
Miami1401
Putnam1357
Jennings1294
Orange12422
Scott1203
Ripley1106
Franklin1098
Kosciusko1011
Carroll933
Daviess8416
Steuben812
Marshall801
Newton7610
Wayne756
Fayette747
Wabash742
LaGrange682
Jasper661
Washington511
Jay490
Fulton471
Clay461
Rush452
Randolph453
Jefferson431
Pulaski410
Whitley383
Owen351
Sullivan341
DeKalb331
Brown331
Starke323
Perry280
Wells270
Benton260
Huntington262
Knox250
Tipton241
Crawford230
Blackford222
Parke190
Spencer191
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Posey160
Gibson142
Adams131
Ohio130
Warren121
Vermillion100
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0161

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33915

Reported Deaths: 2098
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin5566253
Cuyahoga4211226
Marion264225
Hamilton2555135
Lucas2178240
Pickaway204836
Mahoning1397173
Summit1335172
Butler84728
Stark70591
Columbiana68451
Lorain66759
Montgomery63717
Trumbull55147
Belmont41212
Miami35230
Warren35119
Tuscarawas3373
Ashtabula32434
Portage31857
Medina31322
Delaware31013
Lake29012
Wood28246
Geauga27231
Wayne26049
Fairfield2515
Clark2345
Licking22210
Allen20632
Clermont2025
Mercer2016
Richland1933
Erie1656
Darke16221
Madison1487
Washington11819
Crawford1103
Morrow1041
Greene1015
Ottawa9312
Putnam8814
Monroe7512
Sandusky7211
Hocking694
Ross672
Jefferson662
Auglaize653
Huron561
Williams511
Hancock512
Union491
Muskingum480
Clinton430
Hardin420
Shelby403
Fayette390
Wyandot382
Logan370
Fulton370
Coshocton370
Guernsey340
Defiance332
Preble331
Carroll303
Lawrence290
Holmes291
Brown281
Champaign271
Knox231
Highland221
Seneca202
Vinton192
Ashland190
Athens181
Perry181
Henry150
Scioto150
Jackson130
Paulding130
Harrison100
Adams81
Gallia71
Van Wert60
Pike60
Meigs60
Noble50
Morgan50
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 66°
Angola
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 64°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 65°
Decatur
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 64°
Van Wert
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 64°
Scattered Showers & Storms Friday
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